Relatives shock at proposed Palmer Court demolition
February 26, 2013
Relatives of elderly people living in sheltered housing that could be demolished have spoken of their shock.
Wokingham Borough Council may bulldoze Palmer Court and replace it with a new enhanced sheltered accommodation, if funding bids are given the go-ahead.
Palmer Court, in Palmer School Road, has around 20 flats and has been home to some residents for nearly 20 years.
Council officers told residents of their plans on Monday, February 4, and Tuesday, February 12.
The son of an 89-year-old woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “There is a lady who moved in at the end of January and she wasn’t even warned it is going to close. She is distraught.
“Palmer Court went through a modernisation programme a number of years ago and now it has been decided they are going to bulldoze it.”
The man’s mother has lived in Palmer Court for eight years. He added: “My mum doesn’t want to go anywhere.
“She just cries most of the time now and says she may as well give up.”
The council has bid for funding from the Homes and Communities Agency for older people’s accommodation and for internal funding from the council’s capital programme.
A decision on its internal bid is due to be made by the executive tomorrow night.
The daughter of an 86-year-old woman, who has lived in Palmer Court for nearly 13 years, said: “The residents are up in arms because they love where they are, they love the location, the outlook and the design of the flats.”
The woman, who didn’t want to give her name, added: “My mother is registered blind but she can see a bit if the light is good and her flat is positioned in such a way that the light is good and it helps her.
“To a lot of people having to move is a small matter but to them it is huge.”
One woman, who lives in Palmer Court and wished to remain anonymous, is in favour of the council’s proposal.
She said: “The building is unsuitable in that the access to the cupboards and layout within the building is not great. My flat is not as suitable as it should be for elderly folk.
“I’m very happy here but if the proposal goes ahead it is what Wokingham needs. There is an ageing population that needs to be catered for, some of which will be my children and grandchildren.
“I think the need is there and I think the council is being very fair and most helpful.”
Simon Price, head of tenant services at Wokingham Borough Council, said: “Until the outcome of the funding is known it would be wrong to speculate.”